This religious study material is prepared primarily for the benefit of young Ahmadi Muslims who are living in countries where English is the primary language of instruction.
The study of any religion is a fairly demanding task and the religion of Islam is no exception. An effort, therefore, has been made to present this religion, its history and relationship with other faiths, in as systematic a manner as possible. Wherever possible, information is supplemented by charts, maps and tables which are always easier to understand than the written text. A number of exercises and work sheets are also included at the end of this book on the premise that one learns better by writing than by reading only.
This book is divided into six sections.
Section 1 deals with the religion of Islam including its beliefs, acts of worship and the social and moral codes. A special feature of this section is the chronological listing of all Quranic and Biblical prophets and of prophets and Scriptures of other religions.
Section 2 is devoted to the study of the Holy Quran and gives the reader a general knowledge of what the Holy Quran contains.
Section 3 covers the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, from his birth in 570 AD to his death in 632 AD.
Section 4 deals with the Successors of the Holy Prophet and the various Caliphate dynasties that followed. A brief account of the development of sects in Islam is also included here.
Section 5 is on the history of Ahmadiyyat from the time of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s birth to the period of the Fourth Khalifah. This section also deals with the important differences between Ahmadi and Sunni beliefs.
Section 6 is on the study of Comparative Religions and covers the various classifications of religions, their origins, essential beliefs, modes of worship, religious philosophies, wisdoms and comparisons with the religion of Islam. The survey covers all major religions of the world including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity.
The purpose of this book is to give the student a broad outline of the religious knowledge pertaining to Islam and make available to him, in one volume, all necessary information which otherwise may have to be looked up in a number of different books.
For the sake of simplicity, many beliefs and historic events have been dealt with very briefly; and consideration of space has caused many details to be omitted here and there. Nevertheless, the treatment of the various subjects presented here is quite adequate for most students. For those who wish to pursue further reading on these subjects, a selected bibliography is given at the end of this book.
The writing of this book grew out of the weekly instruction given to the Ahmadi children of Vancouver in their Sunday School, over a period of three years. It was indeed the enthusiasm displayed by these children and their obvious eagerness to learn more about their religion, which encouraged the writer to undertake the preparation of this book. It is for this reason that the writer dedicates this book to the Ahmadi children of Vancouver, Canada. May God bless them and ever increase their appetite for learning. Our children are our most precious asset and their proper education and upbringing should not be taken lightly.
Finally, I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to all those persons who read the manuscript and made valuable comments and suggestions. All responsibility for any errors or omissions rests solely with the writer.
Pir Waheed Ahmad
January 1988 Toronto, Canada